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A Guide to Surviving Thanksgiving Conversations

Thanksgiving is great for so many reasons.

1. You get some much needed time off from school.

2. You get to enjoy food that isn’t either instant noodles or frozen dinners.

3. And you are home for the perfect length of time.

You’re home long enough for your family to express how much they have missed you through yummy homemade food, hugs, and maybe even a little cash.


But,  you’re not home long enough for your family to get annoyed with you i.e. your mom freaking out on you for leaving your clothes all over the place and trashing the house. That being said, Thanksgiving also comes with some baggage. Maybe you have super conservative grandparents who make a comment that might be just a tad bit racist or homophobic?

Maybe your creepy cousin’s best friend somehow gets invited back to dinner even after he hit on your mom?Whatever the family drama, you will inevitably be asked questions that you don’t want to answer. Here is a convenient list of all of these horrible, annoying questions so that you can get ahead of them and be prepared.

-How’s school going?

-What is your major?

-Do you have a special someone at school?

-What are you Thankful for?

-Do you have a job at school/ how is the internship search going?

-What job do you want after graduation?

 Here are some techniques for avoiding these questions and making your Thanksgiving more about the mashed potatoes and less about your personal life:

Sit next to your most interesting or loudest cousin to take the spotlight off of you.

Try to cop a seat right next to the cousin who just went cross-country in a van for four weeks. Everyone will be dying to hear about his/ her adventures and you will be left in peace with your mashed potatoes and turkey. However, if your family isn’t that exciting and no one has taken any recent adventures, at least sit next to a talker. This way you can relax because he/she will be so loud no one will even bother trying to ask you about your life.

Prepare one solid answer for the general: so, (insert your name here), how’s life?

Make sure you have one descriptive answer ready because this one is inevitable. Maybe try taking about your friends, or a specific class you are really enjoying? Whatever you are the most confortable talking about, having a long answer will definitely cut down on additional questions that have the potential to make your squirm.

If all else fails, move to the kids table. There might be peas or mash potatoes flying across the table but hey, at least no one will be screaming in your face about politics.

Happy Turkey Day Everyone!



Senior at Syracuse University | Tirelessly curious | Passionate about food & travel | In constant search of the silver lining
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